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Young scientists, who have mastered scientific investigative methods, will showcase their ingenuity, creativity and talent at the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. Gatherings of these brilliant minds will gain momentum through 35 regional science fairs in nine provinces.

The first of the 35 nationwide regional finals begin in Johannesburg and Kimberley on 28 July and run until the end of August, leading up to the prestigious International Science Fair (ISF) at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Boksburg from 3 – 6 October.

At the much anticipated 2017 regional finals, an increase in the number of schools participating in the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists is expected. “Last year saw a 43% increase in school participation and with this year’s strategy geared towards expansion in this area, particularly for rural and no fee paying schools, this number is expected to increase”, says Executive Director of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists, Parthy Chetty.

“Increasing the participation of schools in the Eskom Expo is central to our long-term strategy, which is also a national initiative of government. We aim to increase participation in science- and athematics-related activities, using the exciting scientific inquiry method.. Greater exposure to science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) activities from a young age is a critical driver for transformation of our economy and the creation of a better world for all.

Securing the active participation of teachers and the school management significantly assists in ensuring that learners are given the opportunity to explore the wonders of our world from a scientific perspective and this then becomes the driver for innovation,” he adds.

July and August will see thousands of learners competing at the regional level by presenting their science projects to judges and industry experts in different fields of science and engineering, for a chance to represent their regions and provinces at the prestigious Eskom Expo ISF in October.

At the Eskom Expo ISF, outstanding projects receive accolades which may include numerous university bursaries, laptops and other gadgets, cash prizes and lots more. In addition, learners will compete for a chance to represent South Africa at other prominent international science fairs, to which Eskom Expo is affiliated.

In 2016, S’nenhlanhla Dlamini from Ongoye Secondary School in Kwa-Zulu Natal was awarded a full scholarship sponsored by Siemens to study in Germany. More recently in June, Andries Els and Christoffel Barnard from Hoërskool Lydenburg in Mpumalanga won “the most innovative science project overall” when they represented South Africa at the Kenya Science and Engineering Fair.

“This year Eskom Expo extended the relationship with the Kenya Science Fair to now start sending a team to participate in Kenya and other African countries as part of our efforts to bring more African countries together to share experiences in STEM education and promote the uptake of science-related careers. This is in line with the long term view of expanding our partnership programme and we are in constant search of opportunities in various key sectors and organisations.

Eskom Expo believes that collaboration between partners will contribute to a bigger impact on our education system than the various individual initiatives currently underway. These partnership opportunities include the provision of bursaries and scholarships to learners and acknowledging judges and mentors by presenting awards at Eskom ISF and regional expos,” says Eskom’s Group Executive: Transmission and Risk & Sustainability, Thava Govender.

2016 was another momentous year for the Eskom Expo with as many as 5 393 females and 3 564 male participants exhibiting their science projects. Eskom Expo has also been privileged to have learners from Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe participating in the ISF for the fifth year in a row.

For dates and venues of each of the regional Expos and further operational information, please visit http://exposcience.co.za/index.php/calendar.html.

Media enquiries: please contact: Silindile Nyathikazi on email media@exposcience.co.za or 071 291 9959.

For more information contact Executive Director for Eskom Expo for Young Scientists: Parthy Chetty on email: parthy@exposcience.co.za or 011 894 1365.

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About the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists NPO

The Eskom Expo provides a platform for the learners to increase their awareness and knowledge of the wonders of science and also hopes to broaden their scientific horizons and encourage them to pursue careers in the sciences by igniting a passion for innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

By the very nature of its activities, it is making a contribution to improving the scientific, technical and research skills of young people, and providing an excellent opportunity for teachers to engage in the type of activity promoted within the education curriculum. The Expo provides an ideal opportunity for both teachers and learners to develop skills in scientific project work.

Now in its 37 th year, the Expo is endorsed by the Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Basic Education and has also received recognition from the Presidency. It sees learners presenting their scientific research work to judges, professionals from the private sector, academics, scientists, educators, learners from other schools, parents as well as other interested members from the general community.

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